Prior to writing "Half the World Away," Tammy had begun what would become a grueling and drawn out process as she tried to adopt a child from Guatemala. Not long after setting her heart on bringing home a little girl, Tammy found herself being thrown in the middle of a controversial tug-of-war, during which she was repeatedly lied to about her case. "I had been told that I was in and out of family court, PGN, and for over nine months waiting on a DNA test. The truth ended up being that my dossier hadn't even been translated into Spanish, and nothing had been done on my case." The truth was eventually uncovered, resulting in the Florida-based adoption facilitator who was assigned to handle Tammy's case being found guilty on charges for harboring an illegal alien child and sentenced to a year in prison. Charges were filed during Tammy's adoption, which prompted her to change facilitators and lawyers. "I was just one of several victims of this facilitator. Unknown to me, she used an attorney that was banned by the U.S. Embassy. I sent my money to who I thought was a lawyer. Instead, it ended up being the housekeeper of the lawyer." In an effort to contain the situation, Tammy recalls, "Just weeks away from bringing Shawn home, I was threatened that my adoption would stop if I went public with my story."
Though understandably disappointed after witnessing her first effort turn into a fiasco, Tammy began seeking another avenue to pursue a second adoption. Through her own research, she found many of her questions being answered by GuatAdopt, a non-profit organization run by adoptive parents who give moral support and their knowledge about the adoption process. GuatAdopt also organizes several fund raising efforts to help the children of Guatemala. "GuatAdopt is a God send to me. I found them accidentally online and made contact with them. I had been worried about my adoption process and just needed some answers and encouragement. They are wonderful people who care about the children of Guatemala, as they are adoptive parents themselves." The assistance that GuatAdopt offered her was the key Tammy needed in order to free herself of a fruitless goose chase. "They told me how to inquire at the Embassy. I did so and there was NO record of me in the system! I found this funny, since I had supposedly been in and out of family court." Her second go-around, fortunately, went much more smoothly. Since coming home to Tennessee in 2007, Shawn Alan Cochran (named for the memory of Tammy's two brothers) is a healthy growing 3-year-old boy.
Written during a time when she wasn't sure her adoption would go through, Tammy shares, "This song is so personal to me. I wrote this song while I waiting for my son to come home to me from Guatemala. The adoption took two years to complete when it should have only taken about 10 months." She continues, "I guess I've always poured my heart and feelings into my music as a form of therapy, and this song is the product of what I was feeling at the time." Both extremes of the emotional roller coaster she endured during the lengthy process are represented in "Half the World Away," through which Tammy was able to recount the turmoil in her life while still capturing the joy that comes with welcoming a new child into the family!
Just as "Angels in Waiting" pulled on emotional heartstrings, "Half the World Away" will likely become a fan favorite as well. Though, be assured that there are also plenty of light-hearted tunes included on 30 Something and Single! "I love to write songs. Whether they are serious songs of funny songs, I believe there is a place for both. I hope people listening to this album will see and hear my desire to become even a better songwriter." Tammy is especially excited to share the new album because this is perhaps her most personal project to date. "I am so excited about this album, because it's all me. By that, I mean that I got to chose which songs went on the album and how they were produced. It was great to make the album that is 100% me without any external influences."
Even in the planning stages of creating 30 Something and Single, Tammy had one particular favorite she wanted to include from the getgo. That song is "Stand By Your Man," a country classic written by Tammy Wynette that would later become her signature song. The song takes Tammy back to her childhood years when she looked to Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Janie Fricke, and others for musical inspiration. "In a way, I believe as a child listening to all these strong women of country music taught me not only how to sing, but how to sing with emotion." It was during those years growing up in northeastern Ohio that Tammy began nurturing her love for music and singing. "I have always had an interest in music and singing. I don't remember a time when I didn't sing." Both of her brothers were very musical, as well as her mom, who played piano. The endless stream of music in her home played a large part in Tammy's ultimate decision to pursue her dreams of becoming a recording artist and entertainer. "My parents loved country music and it was always on the radio or record player."
Tammy and her family moved to Nashville after her graduation so that she could pursue her music career. In 2001, Tammy enjoyed her first Top 10 single, "Angels in Waiting." The inspirational ballad was written as a tribute to her two older brothers, both of who succumbed to Cystic Fibrosis early in their lives. Though not initially intended to be a single release to radio, the song touched many hearts and continues to resonate with fans to this day. Other hit singles ("I Cry" and "Life Happened") followed from her self-titled debut album and Life Happened, respectively. The few years that followed found Tammy gradually transitioning from being an artist who held a major label record deal to becoming an independent artist. In 2007, she released Where I Am. Having now released two albums independently, Tammy candidly shares her perspective on the matter. "I believe there are good and bad things to being an indie artist. The positives are that you get to be yourself and create music that you believe in and feel passionate about." On the flip side are financial limitations. "The bad thing is there usually isn't extra money needed to do the promotion like the major labels. Because of that, sometimes you miss out on great opportunities."
Financial restraints aside, Tammy isn't exactly in a hurry to secure another major record label deal. "My ultimate goal is to keep making music I can be proud of. I absolutely love my job! Who could ask for more?"